Exciting news: The Raccoon River Valley Trail (RRVT) is one of only three rail-trails to be nominated this year for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) Hall of Fame! This is a great honor, and, if selected, the RRVT would join more than 30 other iconic trails that are nationally recognized in the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. Public voting takes place from July 30 to Aug. 6, and we hope you’ll participate to help our trail win this coveted recognition.  A link to vote will be on this site starting Friday, July 30. In the meantime get ready by reading more about our Hall of Fame nomination and spreading the word!

The longest paved loop in the nation, the Raccoon River Valley Trail is known as the “quintessential central Iowa experience.” This path totals 89 miles and offers views of agricultural landscapes, woodlands and prairies on a route that connects rural communities as well as the larger cities of Jefferson, Des Moines and Perry. On the eastern leg of the Raccoon River Valley Trail, a plethora of wildflower meadows bustling with wildlife are on full display; along this same route, shops, bicycle-repair stations and restored train depots welcome trail users. To add further delight, the Town of Adel recently created a unique and colorful “lighted bridge” and the City of Waukee installed eye-catching public art, including a 350-foot-long gateway pergola, along the local trailhead.

When the Raccoon River Valley Trail first opened in 1989, there were few major trails in Iowa, but since its opening, it has been embraced by locals and visitors to the region. The trail is not only a tourist engine and vital asset for health and wellness—but a way to bring together people together through various programs and events, from statewide races to local 5Ks.

Looking to the future, the Raccoon River Valley Trail is continuously expanding its connections—aiming for all to have access to the nature it offers. More connections to other trails are continuously in the work, including a connection to the iconic High Trestle Trail.